As the dust started to settle after the scuffle between Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green and Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal on Friday night, Wizards forward Kelly Oubre Jr. was quickly thrust into the spotlight.
Oubre, who was not given a technical or ejected from the game like Green and Beal for his part in the fight, became the center of attention to viewers at home, who claimed to see Oubre throwing punches as he made his way into the scuffle.
Videos on Twitter started to pop up, singling Oubre out from multiple angles showing the “punches” he was throwing. First was to his own teammate, star point guard John Wall.
Why did Kelly Oubre punch John Wall though
— NBA Inside Stuff (@NBAInside_Stuff) October 28, 2017
The next is what got people upset – an alleged punch to the face to the Warriors’ Klay Thompson.
Take a closer look as it appears Kelly Oubre Jr. lands a punch to Klay's face during the scrum. pic.twitter.com/j7dg0srh3o
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) October 28, 2017
It’s hard to tell from the angles, but one could make an argument that Oubre was trying to use a swim-movement with his arms to get through the pile in order to get players off Green and the “punch” was unintentional. Others will see the video as solid proof that Oubre was going in with the intention to throw punches.
After the game, Oubre maintained there were no punches thrown toward Thompson. Thompson told ESPN Oubre apologized and Thompson described it as a “graze to my face.”
Oubre said for people to single him out in an “instance” in a mix of players during a scuffle is “really not fair.”
“I have a past of violence, I guess, in the league,” Oubre told reporters after the game, perhaps referring to his one-game suspension in last season’s playoffs against the Boston Celtics. “So it’ll be easy to pin that on me, but I’m not out here to fight anybody. I’m out here to play the game of basketball, which I love so dearly.”
Kelly Oubre Jr. responded to question re: the video circulating that shows him & Klay Thompson in the scuffle. pic.twitter.com/TRQmeonRwl
— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) October 28, 2017
As of Saturday afternoon, the NBA has not laid down any suspensions for any player involved in the fight. Suspensions for Green and Beal are more than likely to be coming soon, but as far as Oubre, it will depend on how the league interprets the videos – and players’ opinions.
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